The Future of Cybersecurity Jobs in 2020

A combination of evolving technologies and online infrastructure also means evolving and sophisticated cybercrimes. Even overlooked tactics like tech support scams among Chrome and Firefox users can cause for unexpected alarm. The increase in cybersecurity attacks has resulted in a demand for professionals who can help mitigate and prevent them. The Bureau of Labor and Statistics foresees that the employment for information security analysts will grow at a rate of 32%much faster than averageby 2028. To put this into perspective, the average growth rate among all other occupations is 5%. While the future may be bleak for businesses who have to be more cautious of cyber risks, it's bright for those aspiring for a career in cybersecurity.

A growing need for cybersecurity professionals

The IT industry is constantly changing, therefore skills of workers in this industry should continue to adapt to these changes to meet the demand. Maryville University shares that the need for cybersecurity professionals in the United States almost doubled from 2013 to 2019, and is continuously growing faster than any other IT profession. 

The interconnectedness of everything in our worldfrom people, to devices, systems, and networkshas resulted in increased fraud, identity theft, compromised credit cards, stolen files, and hacked home security systems. These possibilities cover a wide range of specializations, with the Vice President of Security Technology at Synopsys, Gary McGraw, comparing it to the medical field, where not everyone is a first responder. A variety of skills are required to work in the field of cybersecurity and a combination of them is necessary to cover more comprehensive ground in solving complex cybercrimes. 

Cybersecurity training today

More and more universities are beginning to offer cybersecurity courses that incorporate both technical and soft skills in certification programs and degree programs. People Matters Global identifies that these skills include managing incidents and responding strategically, expertise in security tools and SIEM platforms, project management, heightened security analysis, and skills like critical thinking which help specialists think like a hacker. 

Infosecurity Magazine says that today's cybersecurity training must also push for greater diversity, welcoming individuals of all ages, genders, sociocultural, and ethnic backgrounds to develop a more well-rounded taskforce. Diversity in training also means that these trainees will think through varied paradigms that are necessary for handling more complex and insidious attacks. Warnings against a homogenous workforce include the possibilities of myopic approaches and dangerous assumptions. A study among 200 teams over two years has show that the more inclusive and diverse a team was, the greater their ability to make wiser decisions 87% of the time. 

Prominent cybersecurity positions

The rise of cybersecurity roles is only beginning. Students and professionals should consider expanding their skills. The demand for professionals to fill these roles is much higher than the existing supply, so it's never too late to pursue the right training to help you get one of these jobs. 

Positions include:

  • Cybersecurity Analysts: assess a company's security systems and create the necessary measures to safeguard their data. 
  • Vulnerability Analysts and Penetration Testers: ethically "hack" a company's network to test for blind spots and weak links before creating the tools needed to enhance security.
  • Cybersecurity Engineers: design and develop solutions to protect company networks.
  • Network Engineers, Network Architects, Systems Engineers: oversee the implementation and management of these networks. They also help test and maintain them.
  • Software Engineers: design programs and applications for users' devices.

These are just some of the many iterations of cybersecurity jobs that you can undertake. Any combination of skills from cloud computing, coding, UX, network security, and the like are increasingly useful for a job in cybersecurity. 

What are you waiting for? Cybersecurity is here to stay and it may be the field for you.

Guest authored by Tara Arquette